Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "sheriff\'s department" ...

  • River Road Fellowship

    An investigation into a religious cult called the River Road Fellowship, led by Victor Barnard. Our investigation revealed allegations from two women who say they were sexually abused by Barnard beginning when they were 12 years old, with the knowledge and consent of their parents. Our investigation revealed how prosecutors ignored evidence and allowed Victor Barnard to flee Minnesota for Washington. Our story led the Pine County Sheriff's Department to re-open the investigation and the Pine County Attorney to produce a 52 count indictment. Victor Barnard remains a fugitive.
  • Behind the Badge

    Based on access to confidential Sheriff's Department documents, a Times investigation showed how political favoritism and negligence led to the hiring of scores of deputies whose records included violence, deceit and sexual misconduct.
  • St. Bernard Voting Fraud

    In an effort to preserve the sense of community in St. Bernard, and other similar parishes affected by Hurricane Katrina, the state passed legislation allowing residents to continue to vote at their previous residences, even if they were living outside of the parish during the rebuilding process. Fast forward six years. 2011. The rebuilding of St. Bernard continues, but with a post-Katrina population of 35,000, the parish has a fraction of its former residents. While some property owners have returned, many have moved to St. Tammany Parish. This is where WVUE's investigation begins. The investigative team received a tip that a St. Bernard Sheriff's Department employee lived in St. Tammany Parish, but was still voting in St. Bernard. This tip came right after the primary in St. Bernard's critical fall elections. The WVUE-TV team requested all voting records for the election, and found out that the deputy was the tip of the iceberg; illegal voting was widespread.
  • "FBI Data, Scholars: As Illegal Immigration Rose, Crime Rate Fell"

    According to "widely trusted" crime reporting data, reports that crime is rising along the southern border of the U.S. in incorrect. Reporter Cristina Rayas wanted to find out if there was a correlation between crime and immigration. She found that the crime rate is actually down in the U.S. and that immigrants might actually be making "communities safer."
  • Right By Miles

    This story looked back to a traffic accident six years ago (2002) in which a car driven by a teenager ran off a back country road in the middle of the night and his passenger, a 16-year-old named Miles White, was killed. The polk County Shriff's Office investigated, ruled it a single car accident and charged the 19-year-old driver with DUI-manslaughter. The Times was able to show that the sheriff's office had engaged in a cover-up. It was not a single-car crash; it was caused by a Polk County sheriff's deputy, who, as it turned out, was a sexual predator who like teenage boys. He chased the boys that night, hit their rear bumper and ran them off the road. The Times showed that before the accident, the sheriff's office had been warned that they had a deputy who was using his undercover vehicle to stalk teenage boys. They had not heeded that warning and left him on the road. If he then caused an accident that killed a boy, the department would have been on the hook for multimillion dollar damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The office chose instead to cover up the truth.
  • Dirty Money

    Some law enforcement agencies have become addicted to seizing drug money. This story found:</p> <p>*Police agencies are seizing bulk cash from drivers and alleging it's drug money without finding any drugs, or, in many cases, without ever filing criminal money laundering charges.</p> <p>* Underfunded, usually rural police and prosecutor's offices have become dependent on seizing suspected drug money to carry out the basic functions of their offices, a state of affairs specifically discouraged by federal asset forfeiture laws.</P> <p>* In the extreme, some corrupt police forces are setting up "forfeiture traps," reminiscent of small-town speed traps, to catch suspected drug couriers and take their currency, a practice some attorneys call "highway robbery"</p> <p>* Some sheriff's departments have become more interested in confiscating cash than drugs, i.d. working southbound lanes into Mexico -- "our piggybank," one South Texas sheriff told me -- where they're more likely to catch money couriers. The reporters also found that these departments are not interested in investigating the couriers as a way to disrupt cartel activities -- all they're interested in is seizing the cash.</p> <p>* With little oversight built into state or federal asset forfeiture laws, some prosecutors' office are misspending their seized drug funds on things like margarita machines for the annual picnic and soccer uniforms for the police soccer team.</p> <p>* More and more law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of the "piggy banks" on their highways. According to the US Justice Department, in the past four years seized assets tripled from $567 million to $1.6 billion.</p>
  • Conduct Unbecoming -- 2006

    Conduct Unbecoming is an ongoing investigation into Washington State's largest sheriff's department and its decades-long failure to investigate and discipline officers. The stories in this entry include a deputy's affair with a criminal, retaliation by the sheriff's office against citizens who complained, and other incidents of system failure. The stories also investigate the reform efforts that resulted from the 2005-2006 investigation.
  • Following the Money: Veil of Secrecy Cloaking Homeland Security Spending

    This story discusses how the Passaic County Sheriff's Department and Passaic County Prosecutor's Office tried to deny the Herald News' requests for copies of letters awarding grants, to track how homeland security money was being spent.
  • Jim West: A Spokesman-Review Investigative Report

    From his days as a Boy Scout leader to sheriff's deputy in the 1970s, through his career in the Washington legislature in the 1980s and 1990s, until becoming mayor of Spokane in January 2004, Jim West abused his positions of trust. The investigation showed that West had sexually molested boys as a sheriff's deputy and Boy Scouts leader, that as a secretly gay Republican state legislator he pushed anti-gay legislation and that as mayor of Spokane he offered City Hall jobs and appointments to teenagers and young men he met on a gay web site.
  • Conduct unbecoming-- 2005

    Post-Intelligencer reporters exposed numerous cases of crime and abuse in the King County Sheriff's Department. Several officers were allowed to retire rather than face criminal charges for misconduct. One officer's gun was stolen by his roommate, who used the weapon to murder a convenience store clerk. Another officer was promoted to master police officer and trainer despite a long history of misconduct. The sheriff's office failed to discipline other officers with long records of abuse and crime, as well.